Saturday, April 30, 2016

Scrappy Saturday

It's the end of orange month for the rainbow scrappers. It was a real stretch for me to make this block using only my orange scraps and I purchased a couple of orange FQ's at Creativ Festival last week.
I love how they look in this Mad City Mama block (pattern by Bonnie Hunter). 
To see more orange projects, hop over to the RSC link up.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Circa 2016

These are the two blocks posted last week for the Circa 2016 quiltalong over at Temecula Quilts.

They are so cute and easy to make. The square in a square blocks in the middle were a bit large, but when I trimmed them down a little they became perfect to fit in the centre of the blocks and no points were lost!

Hop over to Temecula to see the next step.
Happy Friday!

Thursday, April 28, 2016

UFO Update

There hasn't been much quilting time this week, but I did finally get another Swoon block quilted. I used all Aurifil threads, which my machine loves, so the quilting went smoothly, with no thread breakage even at high speeds! 

This is the backing for the block which includes a little 8" version of the swoon block, and some of the leftover backing fabric.

Here is quilted block #8 on the design wall.
In the next two days I just have to piece one more 24" block backing and then quilt the last Swoon block to meet my April UFO goal.
Totally doable!

Monday, April 25, 2016

Design Wall Monday

No the scrap vortex is not on the wall again today! It's still in surgery.
On the design wall today are 25 of the 44 blocks I've sewn for the Scrap Dance Tango mystery quilt.
They are not in any particular order... just randomly placed on the wall for a photo. It's a lot of red and green. I think I need to add more blue and purple so it doesn't look so much like a Christmas quilt. 
To see more design walls, hop over to Patchwork Times.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Slow Sunday Stitching - Creativ Festival

Thanks for dropping by to see what the Slow Sunday Stitchers are up to! 
Today I want to tell you about the Creativ Festival this week and the 3 different hand stitching techniques I enjoyed while there.

1) Beading:
I was sponsored by CQA to teach quilt embellishing and had two classes of enthusiastic stitchers. You can see the kits I put together on Friday's post here. Some of the students had no previous beading experience, so I hope they enjoyed their first exposure to this fun technique. The first class was so full and busy that I didn't even think of taking photos. So these are the students from second class, concentrating on their stitching.

2) Hand stitched hexagons: When I wasn't teaching, I was at the CQA booth doing demos on how to make a hexagon from a circle. It's a really fun and quick technique and you can see it on Jackie White's video here. Jackie took these photos of Leslie Whitby and I teaching the technique at the demo table.
Do you see that great quilt right beside the demo table? I loved this quilt in the CQA juried show in 2014 and was very happy to see it again in the booth. The quilt is called Flower Basket Medallion and was made by Deborah Holden. I wanted to take photos of it when I first saw it, but photos were forbidden at the NJS... until now!
I found out that for the first time, we will be able to take photos at the National Juried Show 2016! I am so excited about that decision. It makes it so much more fun for me to be able to take photos of quilts, techniques, block designs, and embellishments that I see at a show and want to remember.

3) Hand quilting:

Look who I saw when I arrived at the International Centre - my friend Judy Pearce from the Mennonite Relief Sale! You can read more about her here and here. It was an old fashioned quilting bee set up right there in the middle of all the activities. 
Ahhh... these are my people, my quilting tribe!

And you are also "my people"! Thanks for dropping by and reading this long post, and for being part of the global community of hand stitchers!
So what kind of hand stitching are you enjoying today? Link up your blog post below and share your slow progress.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Scrappy Saturday

I have been working through a big bag of scraps that my guild friend Cindy recently donated to my worth cause. Why are someone else's scraps way more interesting than our own? I don't know why that is since I purchased all my own fabric scraps, but I like hers better!

First thing I did was pull out all the orange scraps, sewed one Maverick star block (love that centre glasses fabric which I pieced together) and I have started sewing the parts for the next Mad City Mama block.

To see more orange projects, hop over to SoScrappy.

Friday, April 22, 2016


It's Friday, so it's time to post the weekly Circa 2016 update. Here are all the blocks I have sewn (since the medallion centre was made).

The newest blocks are on the top right. Hmmm... looks like quite the mishmash at the moment.

I am teaching quilt embellishment at the Creativ Festival today, and in between classes I will be in the CQA booth #301. Here are the kits I've assembled for the students. I am looking forward to sharing my love of beading and hand stitching! Drop by and say hi if you are attending.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Finished Block

Here's the finished block! This is a paper pieced pattern by Sonja Callaghan and was published in issue #3 of Quiltmaker 100 Blocks magazine. I have wanted to make this block since I first saw it. It stirs up a very strong memory of having new magical white shoes!

This is my memory of beautiful shiny white shoes. It's a damaged (old!) photo but you can see the shoes.
I'm the one on the left. My cousin had her own idea of how the bouquet should be held! I remember we also debated how high the knee socks could be stretched and I'm sure there are some photos somewhere of the socks covering my knees! I love this photo and all the memories associated with that day.
A paper pieced block and a daffodil!
This block was a bit of a struggle in the end, and you can see that the edges of the block are not at all even, especially on the right side.
I find that a little paper piecing goes a long way for me and now that I've had my fix, I won't be tempted again for a while.
If you'd like to see 8 very creative versions of this block, hop over to Quiltmaker magazine.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Paper Piecing Project

Not all quilters enjoy paper piecing, and some have a real dislike of it. 
But not me - I really enjoy it.
It's like making a fabric jigsaw puzzle. I like sewing the fabric to the paper and then figuring out how to fit the pieces together to make a pattern.
I've wanted to make a block pattern from Quiltmaker 100 blocks magazine from 2011 (issue #3) and have had it ready to sew for a long time. A new issue of the magazine is soon to be released, so I just had to get out this old project and get going on it. 

I decided to use my 1953 long bed Singer 301 and this project is giving her a good workout sewing through layers of paper and fabric.

Here are the pieces I've completed and there are a couple more to go. It doesn't look like much but it represents hours of sewing!
Can you figure out what I'm making? Fans of the Quiltmaker 100 Blocks magazine can probably guess since it was a really popular pattern.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Design Wall Monday

The scraps are just flying around here!
I have the letters of the second word constructed for my scrappy quilt. Did you see the first word last week?
And now here's the V O R T E X ...
If you saw my post on Wednesday about the trouble with E, I took out the orange and changed everything to the left of the letter. I am much happier with how it looks today.
The next step is to get the letters to become the same size and get them sewn together in a row. Then I will do a "rowectomy", cutting open the quilt across the middle and will transplant the vortex from the design wall into the quilt. Just call me the quilt surgeon!
To see more design wall postings, hop over to Patchwork Times.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Slow Sunday Stitching

Life Is Beautiful block #22

It's Sunday again, and that means it's time to relax with some hand stitching.
I have been doing more hand embroidery on my Life Is Beautiful blocks. It really is a slow and steady kind of project. I have been working on it for over a year now and this is block finish #21. 
I like this one, and as I always say, I think it's my favourite LOL!

What are you hand stitching today? Link up your blog post below and share your progress with us.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Scrappy Saturday

It's orange month at RSC.
I am sewing the Alamo star blocks that I cut out at the beginning of the month. They are leader/ender pieces between other seams I am sewing (mostly for the Scrap Vortex).
To see what other quilters are making with their orange scraps, hop over to SoScrappy.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Circa 2016

This is the block pattern from last week's Circa 2016 instalment. 

Temecula Quilts calls this block "birds in the air". 
Easy peasy to sew.
This mystery project won't be concluded until October, but in the meantime there is the job of making 120 little 1.5" HST blocks.  I will try to make a few of those now and then so I'll be ready to assemble when the time comes. Hop over to Temecula to see what blocks we are sewing this week.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Sew Fresh Quilts in real life!

We were so thrilled to have Lorna of Sew Fresh Quilts come to our quilt guild this week! She brought a huge pile of quilts that she has designed, pieced and quilted. It was wonderful to see these quilts in real life that I had seen on the computer screen. Here are the guild members getting up close to see how Lorna makes her quilts.

Here's Lorna with her adorable Dog Gone Cute projects. She hosted a quiltalong last year to make these puppies, and the pattern is still free on her blog - click here to check it out. 
For sure I'll be making at least one pillow for my granddog for Christmas!

The room was filled with Lorna's adorable creatures, and very excited quilters itching to learn how to sew these projects. She promised to come back to our guild next year and teach us some of her techniques.


I really wanted to participate in Lorna's Elephant Parade  quiltalong last year but I didn't have time then. But seeing the quilt last night, my friend Sandy and I both decided that we are going to make it now. Sandy had already purchased the fabric for her version but hadn't started it yet! Now's the time! 
Here we are with Lorna.
That's Lisa of Sunlight in Winter quilts  on the left, Lorna in the middle and me on the right. I'm not really that short... I'm standing one step lower on the stage. Thanks to Scott for taking this fun photo for us!
Blogland is a wonderful place, but it's so fun to meet our quilting friends in real life too!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Scrappy Piecing

Some people call it "free piecing", or "liberated piecing" or "wonky piecing" or "crumb piecing" or "improv piecing".
Whatever you want to call it, it involves picking scraps and sewing them together with no pattern to follow, and no plan in mind. 

When I am sewing like this, I have no idea how what I am creating looks as I'm going along. 
When I put it on the design wall I see what I made. I just love Nemo in the middle of the V!!
When I am sewing scraps I put on my favourite music and I get into a scrappy trance. It's a lovely and relaxed state to enjoy. It's my "fabric yoga" and some stretching is involved walking back and forth from the iron to the sewing machine! And at the end of the session, I just feel so relaxed.
How does this look on the design wall?
Hmmm...don't love this.
I was reminded that when sewing letters, if your letter fabric is light, it's best to not put any light fabrics around it, or your eye gets confused. It's hard to see the letter here when your eye is so confused by the other light fabrics. For sure I will take out the lime green strip beside the top left of the E and maybe that polka dot yellow on the right. 
Scrap happy fun going on over here!

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Scrap Dance Tango

The next instalment for the Scrap Dance Tango was posted last week. We are now on Step #4 of this mystery quilt. There are no new blocks to make for this step. We are just sewing together units that we had already made in the previous steps. 

I have finished 4 of the 44 blocks that I will need for the twin size layout.

They are pretty and I'm having fun!

Are you tangoing in the scraps with us?!?

Monday, April 11, 2016

Design Wall Monday

The scrap vortex is still on the design wall. It's finally all in one piece.

There are a couple thousand bits of fabric in this masterpiece! 
I love it!
Right now it measures about 50" x 60".
I think I still want to add another word, so I might piece a few more letters this week and see if I like it even more.
And I'm piecing some scrap strips on freezer paper to make a 6" border.
To see more design wall posts, hop over to Patchwork Times.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Guilt Free Slow Sunday Stitching

It's Slow Sunday Stitching time! 
Let the relaxation begin!
Get out your needles and thread and spend some time stitching yourself back together. 
We all know that it is essential to human survival to find ways to relieve stress in order to live a healthy life. Hand stitching is my survival skill, my stress reliever, my battery recharger. 

As I was replacing the carbon monoxide detector battery this week I was reminded that batteries do not last forever. They either get recharged or they die. 
Humans are the same. We find a way to heal, to renew and regenerate, or we die.
Hand stitching is one of the ways that I charge my battery. I can feel when my battery is low and needs to be plugged in. Some days I can feel the life energy draining from me and by the end of the day I have nothing left to give to anyone.

Sometimes I need a walk in the fresh air, sometimes I need to talk to a supportive friend, and sometimes I need to sleep in order to fully recharge. But many times I am recharged by a little bit of hand stitching. I just get out my scissors, needles and thread and get stitching.
I do not ever feel guilty when I prioritize that I need to sew something because I am renewing my energy. I recognize that I am responsible for identifying when recharging is required, and I plug myself in! And everyone I cross paths with, everyone I serve, everyone I love will benefit from me being completely filled up.

How are you renewing yourself today? Are you plugging in to charge up your battery? Don't feel guilty about it... you NEED recharging! Protect your charging time and be clear with yourself and others about why you need it!

Link up your blog post below and show us how you are recharging your battery with some Slow Sunday Stitching!

Saturday, April 09, 2016

Scrappy Saturday

I got totally lost in the batik scrap box this week. I was oohing and ahhhing over such pretty scraps. How much time passed as I cut and sorted these little gems? The squares and strips are 1.25".

Just look at these trimmings that someone gifted to me! I love that light blue fabric with the pink leaves. I'm not sure if I will cut these into Alamo star pieces, or save them for something else? They are quite large pieces!

Here's the first batch of Alamo star blocks ready to sew. Each star measures 2.75" and is made of 17 little pieces. I sew these blocks as leader/enders, so I like to have a stack of pieces beside my machine to put through the machine between other seams I am sewing. The colour for the RSC this month is orange, so all of these blocks will either be an orange star or have an orange background.
To see more orange projects, hop over to SoScrappy.

Friday, April 08, 2016

Circa 2016 Block Love

Oh my goodness I loved the block posted for last week's Circa 2016 installation! If I could only make one quilt block over and over for the rest of my life, it would probably be this one - a square in a square, or some people call it the economy block. I have made this block for many projects in the past, and now I want to start a new project using only this block. I will sit quietly and wait hopefully for the urge to pass! LOL
See the paisley I fussy cut for the centre block?

Here are all the extra blocks made since the centre medallion was sewn. So much scrappy goodness!

Hop over to Temecula Quilts to find the next step in this mystery.